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Chris T., JD
Chris T., JD, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 3687
Experience:  I have assisted many customers and clients with their family law questions and I'm experienced in family law litigation.
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My ex wifes attorney has written a draft of the Final Order

Resolved Question:

My ex wife's attorney has written a draft of the Final Order concerning our Visitation with the Children. The Judge ordered that certain numbers and percentages be changed from the Temporary Order. Her attorney has chosen to rewrite the entire Final Order, instead of just changing the numbers and terms, he has gone with an entire rewrite. Changing the format of the Temporary Order and leaving out key sections we agreed to.

He sent me a copy of the Final Order asking for my comments and I sent him back a copy of the Final Order, written using the verbage from the Temporary Order, just changing the numbers and percentages as ordered by the Judge.

He states he cannot accept my version of the Final Order on any terms. He states he will only submit his version and refuses to alter his in anyway.

How should I proceed? Do I send my copy along with the email trail of our communication to the Judge? Can I fax it to the Judges office if there is a fax number?

Thanks for your help.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Chris T., JD replied 1 year ago.

texlawyer :

Good afternoon. I'll be assisting you with your question.

texlawyer :

No, you should not just fax your copy to the judge.

texlawyer :

If you can't reach an agreement with the attorney, you should file your own order, through the district clerk, as "proposed final order." The other attorney will likely do the same.

texlawyer :

At that point, the judge will have the option to accept one or the other, or, if the judge wishes, he can accept neither.

texlawyer :

The botXXXXX XXXXXne is that if there is a dispute regarding the wording of the final order that you can't get resolved, you will have to let the judge make the call.

texlawyer :

Based on what you've said, it sounds like the judge has said what he wanted, and just expects the parties to draft it and get it filed. If this other attorney is not going to abide by the judge's wishes and tries to force you to sign an agreement contrary to what the judge told you to do, he runs a very high risk of making the judge angry, which is something he does not want to do.

texlawyer :

If sounds like you are in a strong position here. So, just stand firm and if they won't agree, file what you uderstood the judge to ask you to do.

Customer:

The Judge was a traveling Judge from another county. So, do I need to file my copy with the Sumter County Clerks office, then send a copy of the filed copy to the Judge? Or do I just send a copy to the Judge?

Customer:

I live in Charleston, SC, the Judge is in Columbia, SC, and the case was being heard in Sumter, SC.

texlawyer :

You file it in with the clerk where your case is pending. If it is being heard in Sumter, then it should be filed there. You should have a case number XXXXX to your case.

Customer:

We are also waiting for Sumter County to receive a copy of the Judge's response to the Motion to Reconsider I filed. The Judge's clerk stated he sent it to Sumter County, but they have not received it yet.

Customer:

I file it with the Court in Sumter County and then mail a copy to the Judges office in Columbia? Columbia is an hour from Sumter.

texlawyer :

No, just file it with the clerk. It is the clerk's job to get a copy to the judge. It is handled this way because litigants are not supposed to communicate directly with the judge without the other side present. This makes sure that does not happen because what you file with the clerk of the court is accessible by the other side.

texlawyer :

Just call the clerk of the court in Sumter and get filing instructions from them. They get questions like that all the time.

Customer:

I want to make sure I understood you correctly.

Customer:

1. File the Final Order in Sumter County.

Customer:

2. Let the County Court send the documents to the Judge.

Customer:

What would happen if I sent a courtesy copy to the Judge, after the Sumter County Court accepted the document and made a certified copy?

Customer:

Is it procedure for both parties to submit a copy of the Final Order if they do not agree on what the other side has written?

Customer:

Do I attach a letter or anything to the Judge on my copy of the Final Order? Or just send the order?

Customer:

Should I attach a copy of the emails we have exchanged?

texlawyer :

The first thing you want to do is make an attempt to work it out with the other side. However, after that, your steps are correct. If you send a certified copy to the judge, that won't cause any harm, but it usually isn't handled that way. The key is that you find out from the clerk how they want it filed. Every district clerk has their own rules and way they like things, so you want to be sure you do it how they like.

texlawyer :

Yes, that is the procedure.

Customer:

Her attorney is refusing to change any part of his draft of the Final Order.

texlawyer :

Just send the order with a short description of what has transpired. It will be something like "Proposed Final Order" and then you describe what you are filing and why, with a copy of the proposed final order attached.

texlawyer :

You should not provide a copy of the emails you exchanged with the other attorney.

Customer:

Should I write the short description in a letter to the Judge and attach to the "Proposed Final Order"?

texlawyer :

Yes.

texlawyer :

It should not be in a letter to the judge directly. It should be filed with the district clerk.

texlawyer :

You should not be writing letters to the judge directly without filing them with the district clerk.

Customer:

Correct. File the letter with my version of the "Proposed Final Visitation" Order.

Customer:

Have the court make a certified copy of the order and then send a courtesy copy.

Customer:

A copy of the order and letter, sorry.

texlawyer :

Yes. Again, ask the clerk how they want it filed.

texlawyer :

Correct.

Customer:

Great. Thank you again for your help and patience. I hope you have a great day.

texlawyer :

Glad to help.

texlawyer :

If I can't do anything else for you, please remember to "Rate" my answer. Also, if you have any questions in the future, you can direct them to me here: http://www.justanswer.com/law/expert-texlawyer/

texlawyer :

Can I do anything else for you?

Customer:

One last question. Sorry.

texlawyer :

Sure.

Customer:

In most cases, is the Final Order usually written using the same language as the Temporary Order, if the details that are changed are only dates and dollar amounts?

texlawyer :

Often times the provisions are wirtten using the same language, but the format may be different. It varies from court to court.

Customer:

Ok. Thank you again.

texlawyer :

I wouldn't say there is a "right" or "wrong" way to do it.

texlawyer :

Glad to help.

texlawyer :

If I can't do anything else for you, please remember to "rate" my answer.

Chris T., JD, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 3687
Experience: I have assisted many customers and clients with their family law questions and I'm experienced in family law litigation.
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